# What does “clear of clouds” mean in FAA FAR part 103?

In FAR part 103 when they are talking about visibility requirements for flying an ultralight, sometimes instead of giving exact distances, they will just say "clear of clouds".

For example:

                                   Minimum
flight
visibility
Flight altitudes             /1/       Minimum distance from clouds
1,200 feet or less above the
surface regardless of MSL
altitude:
(1) Within controlled airspace      3       500 feet below, 1,000 feet above, 2,000 feet horizontal.
(2) Outside controlled airspace     1       Clear of clouds.


Or here:

                                      Flight
Airspace                visibility        Distance from clouds

Class G:
1,200 feet or less above the
surface (regardless of MSL
altitude)                       1 statute mile   Clear of clouds.
More than 1,200 feet above the
surface but less than 10,000
feet MSL                        1 statute mile   500 feet below.
1,000 feet above.
2,000 feet horizontal.


What does "Clear of Clouds" mean in this context? Just that I should remain clear of the clouds, or does it mean that the sky must be clear of clouds in the defined space?

And if it does just mean I need to stay "clear of the clouds", how exactly is that defined? 1000ft? 100ft? 10ft? What exactly?

• keep clear of them. don't go in them. – Octopus Jul 17 '15 at 18:40

Clear of clouds means you should not fly through clouds. You may get as near as comfortable to clouds, but flying into a cloud is still prohibited. There is no definition with a particular distance that I am aware of.